Nicki Minaj defends the Nicki Minaj Brand in the new music video for her “Up In Flames,” yet another cut off the endlessly long-slash-promotable “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded – The Re-Up.”
The rapper/singer spends some serious screen-time mugging seriously in the dark as stunt bikers remind you that the ’90s were real and this was a thing that happened. This very slow beat allows for Minaj’s Queens accent bite at her competitors in full-throat, though I’ve never found the zingers particularly zingy. Instead, she seems defensive, rather than offensive, and the camera is out fishing for proof of her successes.
One particularly funny (and awkward) moment is when it pans to a table of her endorsements and branding opps — for her perfume, for a liquor endorsement — and it just looks like a plate full of tchotchkes sitting sad and alone in a room. Then zoom to the shelves of her awards, including some MTV and BET honors. The quick shot barely allows the viewer to remember there’s no Grammys glistening in the collection.
Even with the futuristic cars and the bikes and bouncers and stuff, it’s pretty low-grade. I hope this signals the end of this album release cycle (and dopey rhyming schemes of “network” with “networks”), so that once Minaj is done with the “American Idol” bag, she can get back to making some more challenging rhymes and more conceptual video and performance pieces.